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Chattanooga workers claim VW illegally helped UAW
Opponents of the United Auto Workers are claiming that Volkswagen illegally helped the union in its recent organizing campaign in exchange for the union agreeing to make concessions to the auto maker. Three employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Chattanooga, claiming VW and the union illegally colluded in a neutrality agreement to help the UAW get representation at the plant and to limit what the union could bargain over in any subsequent contract talks. In a 12-page lawsuit, the workers opposed to the UAW claim VW improperly lent assistance to the UAW in its organizing effort, allowing the union to use VW facilities and make presentations to employees in favor of the union. In exchange, the UAW agreed "to make concessions" to VW under the works council, if workers approved the union. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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United Auto Workers slams NLRB ruling in favor of anti-union workers at Volkswagen plant
The United Auto Workers union said today that it will appeal a ruling by the Atlanta region of the National Labor Relations Board that favors anti-union Volkswagen employees. The ruling means employees of the automaker's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant who oppose the union's organizing efforts there can defend the results of last month's failed union election. The UAW also is appealing the election, which it lost 712 to 626. Typically, only employers and unions are involved in hearings held on such challenges, but the NLRB said anti-union employees can take part, too. AL.com
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Texas businessman credits SC tax-breaks for decision to relocate to SC
Jon-Michial Carter said he had many reasons to move his healthcare data company from Houston to Greenville a few months ago — love for the community, the pro-business environment, and the NEXT Innovation Center were just a few.But a clincher for the founder and CEO of ChartSpan Medical Technologies was the tax credit of 35 percent that South Carolina now offers affluent so-called “angel investors” who put their money in early-stage, high-growth businesses.“We were a Texas-based company. We looked at the entire landscape of whether to stay in Texas or move to South Carolina,” said Carter. The State
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Airbus rising: 'There's a lot of good construction activity to come'
MOBILE, Alabama – With the topping out ceremony complete for the main hangar of Airbus’ $600 million A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Hoar Program Management’s Mike Lanier said Wednesday the project will shift into high gear both visibly and behind-the-scenes. “The plan is to have the first parts delivered for assembly by summer 2015,” he said. Dr. Ulrich Weber, who leads Airbus’ efforts in Mobile and the A320 family program, confirmed implementation of jigs and tools within the facility should start by the close of 2014, clearing the way to meet the summer 2015 production target. AL.com
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Earliest known Fender Stratocaster on sale in Nashville
It wasn’t played by a rock 'n' roll hero like Bob Dylan or Elvis Presley, but a historic guitar is on sale for $250,000 at a Nashville instrument shop. The guitar is the earliest known Fender Stratocaster, the electric guitar that has built a cult following all its own. The guitar, which has a serial number 0100, is being sold via consignment at Gruhn Guitars by Fender historian Richard Smith. Gruhn Guitars owner George Gruhn said the recordkeeping on the guitar is superb because Smith has owned the instrument for 30 years and is considered a foremost expert on Stratocasters. Smith published the book “Fender: The Sound Heard 'Round the World” and curated a museum exhibit on Fender guitars at the Fullerton Museum in California. The Tennessean
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Commissioner Hagerty Announce Fresenius Medical Care to Locate New Manufacturing Operations in Knox County
NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Fresenius Medical Care officials today announced the company will locate its new East Coast manufacturing facility in the Panasonic building in the Forks of the River Industrial Park in Knoxville. Fresenius Medical Care will invest up to $140 million in the project and correspondingly create approximately 665 new jobs in Knox County over the next several years. “I want to thank Fresenius Medical Care for investing in Tennessee, and I appreciate the new jobs being created in Knox County,” Haslam said. “Here in Tennessee we’re working to create an environment where companies like Fresenius Medical Care can succeed and expand, and today’s announcement supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Could one man’s vision make Mississippi into Hollywood South?
Mississippi over the years has ramped up its financial incentives to lure production crews to the Magnolia State to film movies. The results? “A Time To Kill.” “My Dog Skip.” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” “The Help.” Perhaps you’ve seen some of those. But the state needs more than just tax breaks written on pieces of paper that are signed into law by the governor. It needs people who believe the state is the ideal location for movie shoots, people who believe in the state’s potential more than the tired old criticisms/stereotypes most out-of-state folks rely on to shape their views of Mississippi, people who can create a permanent film industry in Mississippi where the studio lights will remain on from one shoot to the next. Clarion-Ledger
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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NC economy to grow in 2014, UNC Charlotte economist predicts
Despite sluggish job growth in recent months, North Carolina’s unemployment rate is expected to keep falling throughout 2014 to below 6 percent, UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton said Tuesday. In releasing his latest quarterly forecast for the state’s economy, Connaughton said North Carolina is expected to have continued economic growth this year, thanks in part to rising home prices and low interest rates. The state’s 15 sectors are projected to post a rise in economic output, he said. “This is really sort of the first year since the recovery began that all of our sectors are going to show growth,” he said. “2014 has the potential to be a really good year.” Charlotte Observer
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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The Hidden Line in Obama’s Budget and What it Means for Cities and Metro Areas
The most important takeaway from President Obama’s just-released 2015 budget is actually the least discussed: Over the next decade, the federal government’s focus will change fundamentally, forcing our cities and metropolitan areas to pick up the slack. The story of the federal government’s changing role can be found in this chart buried on page 172. Non-defense discretionary spending—including critical investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation—will continue to drop severely, from 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 to just 2.2 percent in 2024. When compared to an average of 3.8 percent for the last 40 years, it’s clear how dramatic an impact these cuts will have. Brookings
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

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Why GOP should support raising minimum wage
President Obama recently gave a speech urging Congress to raise the minimum wage and announced on Wednesday plans to require employers to pay overtime to more salaried employers. The President is certainly doing the right thing for the American public, especially women. A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that women are huge fans of raising the national minimum wage. Seventy-six percent of women and 65% of men surveyed support it. CNN
Submitted 2 years 109 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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